Ferentz on Canzeri

Published: February 10 2011 | 6:26 pm - Updated: 31 March 2014 | 11:20 am in

If Jordan Canzeri didn't have the nuttiest ride into signing day, he might've had one of the most stressful.

Villanova put him on the clock, a weekend deadline sort of thing. So, the 5-foot-9, 177-pounder from Troy, N.Y. said yes to 'Nova. Then, UConn had a coaching change and was suddenly interested.

Then, Iowa offered. He visited. He signed Iowa.

He's not a big back, but he was tremendously productive for Troy last season, rushing for 2,048 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior.

Links -- This wasn't a casual decision for Canzeri, according to this Albany Times Union story. "I was really upset," he said Wednesday. "I wasn't sure what I wanted."

Three most interesting bio items -- 1) Earned NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete team award. 2) Team advanced to state championship game as a senior and posted 21-2 record his final two seasons. 3) Offensive MVP of regional final, state semifinal and state championship game.

Ferentz on -- Canzeri drew the "Danny Woodhead" quote out of coach Kirk Ferentz. Woodhead is the mighty mite running back for the New England Patriots. Canzeri is 5-9, 177.

"And you know the only obvious thing was size, I guess that was probably the thing and we made a mistake already on Danny Woodhead and we are not going to make another one," Ferentz said.

"That part of the conversation with Jordan. He was worried about his size, we blew that one on Danny Woodhead, 177 pounds when he went to Chadron State and did not want to blow it again. You have to go by what you see on tape and the passion he plays, with the toughness he plays and the determination, that really -- told his dad we are not going to ask him to rebound. We just want him to run the football. So we are really excited about him."

Here's recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson's take:

"[Canzeri] did come on our radar fairly quickly, the last couple weeks," Johnson said. "He contacted [offensive coordinator] Ken O’Keefe, that’s Ken’s area [Canzeri is from Troy, N.Y.). Ken really liked the tape and sent it to [running backs coach] Lester [Erb]. Coach Ferentz loved the tape. We decided to go on him.

"He’s a little bit of a smaller back at 5-8, 5-9 and probably 175 to 180 pounds. He has excellent vision. We just feel very good about him as a football player. You can line him up in the slot and do a number of things with him."

Projection is fun -- It sounds as though Canzeri is a lock at running back.

The big question is size, can he hold up to the pounding of the Big Ten?

Why not? The first thing you have to do is catch him. A lot of Iowa fans I tweet with have seen his YouTube highlight reel and have made the comparison to former Iowa back Brandon Wegher.

Why not? Wegher never hit 200 pounds as a true freshman. Get Canzeri pointed toward 190, keep the cutting ability and quickness, you've got something.

Could he make a switch? Sure, there's a YouTube with defensive highlights, too, but this sounds like a fit.


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